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Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

Friday, December 22nd
Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(15-10-2-0, 32 PTS, 2nd North, T-4th East)97 GF, 87 GAPP: 22.6% (26-for-115), 1stPK: 79.6% (90-for-113), 24th

23-F-Garrett Meurs (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points in 24 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points in 27 games)21-F-Cam Brown (4 goals, 20 assists, 24 points in 27 games)18-F-Hunter Fejes (13 goals, 7 assists, 20 points in 27 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (3 goals, 17 assists, 20 points in 25 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points in 14 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (2-6-0 record, 3.04 GAA, .904 Sv% in 8 games)

BRAMPTON BEAST(12-10-1-2, 27 PTS, 5th North, 8th East)78 GF, 88 GAPP: 14.8% (16-for-108), 20thPK: 85.0% (108-for-127), T-7th

13-F-Brandon Marino (8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points in 25 games)48-F-Chris Leveille (7 goals, 16 assists, 23 points in 25 games)27-F-Alex Foster (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 19 games)3-D-Matt Petgrave (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 21 games)17-F-Brandon MacLean (7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points in 20 games)12-D-Reggie Traccitto (7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points in 25 games)31-G-Marcus Hogberg (5-5-1 record, 3.22 GAA, .913 Sv% in 11 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 1, Beast 12016-17 Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 4, Beast 2All-Time Series: Nailers 16, Beast 10All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 7, Beast 4

It was Worth the WaitThe Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals played a scoreless draw for the first 39 minutes of Saturday night's game, but once the goals started going in, they went Wheeling's way, as the visitors scored four times in 21 minutes at Santander Arena. Kevin Schulze opened the scoring during the final minute of the second period, launching a one-timer into the top-right corner of the cage. Reid Gardiner lit the lamp in the opening minute of the third frame, and was followed by Troy Josephs, who batted a backhander out of the air. Reading made things close with a pair of strikes from Adam Schmidt and Brian Morgan, before Cody Wydo put the game away for the Nailers with an empty netter for a 4-2 final score. Will King earned the victory in goal with 37 saves, as he defeated Mark Dekanich, who came up with 24 stops for the Royals.

Tightening the GapThe Brampton Beast picked up a pair of wins last weekend, closing to within three points of the final playoff spot in the North Division. Both of Brampton's triumphs came against non-divisional opponents, starting with a 5-4 overtime thriller at Kalamazoo on Saturday. The Wings got a goal from Tyler Heinonen with 1:41 remaining in regulation to force the extra session, but at the 1:33 mark of overtime, David Vallorani put the Beast into the win column. Brandon MacLean scored twice in the win, while Paul Cianfrini netted his first tally of the year. The following day, Brampton returned home, and erased an early 1-0 deficit with three unanswered markers for a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators. Vallorani, MacLean, and Jordan Henry were the goal scorers. Andrew D'Agostini and Marcus Hogberg both collected one win in goal.

The Importance of Finishing StrongEvery team will say that they want to have a good start, and try to put the game away early, but in recent weeks, the third period has played a big factor in deciding games involving the Nailers. Last week, Wheeling went 2-1-0 in three games against Indy and Reading. In the two wins, the Nailers outscored the opposition 4-2 in the third period, lighting the lamp three times against the Royals, while scoring a tiebreaking goal against the Fuel. One week earlier, Wheeling defeated Toledo 4-2, grabbing an insurance marker in the third period to create a larger separation. On the other side of the equation, the Nailers have come up empty during the third period in each of their last four defeats. For the season, Wheeling is +6 in the first and second periods, -4 in the third period, +1 in overtime, and +1 in shootouts. Brampton is on the plus side in the second period, while surrendering more goals in the first and third.

Three Beastly AdditionsSince starting the year out with an 0-5-1 record, Brampton has gone 12-5-2 in its last 19 games, while being bolstered by some key pieces in the lineup. First, the Beast acquired forward Alex Foster from the Rapid City Rush. A 33-year old veteran, Foster has returned from a six-year stint in Europe with 15 points in 19 games this season, including 14 points in 14 tilts with Brampton. The next addition came when David Vallorani made his return to North America, after starting the campaign in Europe. Vallorani led the Beast with 83 points a year ago, and already has four points in four games since his return. Finally, Zachary Fucale goes to Brampton from the AHL's Laval Rocket. Fucale was major reason for the Beast's first ever playoff series win, as he backstopped 25 regular season victories in 2016-17, then added six more in the playoffs.

Let's Play TwoFriday night marks the third of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Beast this season, as well as the first of three battles at WesBanco Arena. The two North Division rivals played a two-game set in Brampton during the third week of the season, which saw each side come away with one win. Wheeling took the opener, 6-5, before the Beast answered back with a 5-4 decision two days later. Kenny Ryan was the top performer during that weekend series, as he racked up four goals and five points, however, he has been out of the lineup since November 11th. Kevin Dufour had three goals and four points for Brampton. Nick Sorkin and Kevin Schulze have both accumulated 14 points against the Beast over the course of the last two seasons. Last year, Wheeling went 4-1-1 at home against Brampton, as the Beast make their first of two visits to town in 2017-18.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
Faith & Family Night
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Frosty Friday
Friday, March 22nd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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